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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


SKORUPA, Alba Lucia Araujo et al. Soil properties under native vegetation in Minas Gerais, Brazil: distribution by phytophysiognomy, hydrography and spatial variability. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2012, vol.36, n.1, pp.11-22. ISSN 1806-9657.

One of the factors affecting the distribution of native vegetation is soil formation. Therefore, soils under native vegetation can be highly informative with regard to a region and the original soil fertility, as records of conditions found before agricultural reclamation (agrosilvopasture). The purpose of this study was to assess soil fertility and texture under native vegetation fragments sampled during the Forest Survey of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. In general, the variability in all soil properties was high, except for Al3+. In soils under grassy savanna (Campo Cerrado), the concentrations of soil organic matter were higher than in savanna woodlands (Cerradão and Cerrado Stricto Sensu). In general, seasonal forests were found on soils with higher fertility than Cerrado formations, whereas rainforests (Floresta Ombrófila) occurred on the most acidic and organic matter-rich soils. Linear regression analyses showed that the importance of soil organic matter for cation exchange capacity at pH 7.0 varied among the different vegetation types, and was irrelevant for seasonal deciduous forest (Decidual Seasonal Forest), but significant for the other phytophysiognomies. Data stratification by hydrographic basins, interpreted in combination with stratification by vegetation, allowed inferences about the probable effect of parent material on soil properties, especially on soil texture. By means of geostatistical analysis and based on ordinary kriging, maps of soil pH, organic carbon and clay contents, but not of cation exchange capacity at pH 7.0, were drawn for the state of Minas Gerais. Data of soils under native vegetation fragments could be used as reference standards of natural soil fertility, not only in Minas, but in other states of Brazil as well.

Keywords : Forest Survey of the State of Minas Gerais; forest fragments; soil fertility; phytogeography; riparian forest; geostatistics.

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